By Chuck McCormick
After nine months of organizing, planning, and five days of infrastructure set up, the day finally arrived - 10/25/2014, for the First Inaugural Operation American Muscle fund raiser for the Wounded Warriors Project! The At 0630 hours the quiet darkness was disrupted with the sound of the first 40 muscle cars revving their engines and arriving at the Camp Mabry parade ground. The Longhorn Corvette Club teamed with the Austin Chapter of the Texas V Club to put on the fund raiser, and arrived with all of their 25 volunteers to work the event. It was truly impressive and the LCC members did a great job getting the cars parked on the parade ground, running the silent auction, the raffle, and doing a lot of the judging. There were 85 cars pre-registered online and an additional 52 showed up and registered at the event. An additional 12 cars came too late for the judging but wanted to show their support of the Wounded Warriors Project by paying the registration fee anyway! Let's face it, the muscle car community is all about supporting our men and women in the military!
Even though the event conflicted with The Texas Mile, V Club members really showed their support and generosity by contributing $1,885.00 which was outstanding! Sewell Performance Group was the only "Gold Level Sponsor" with a $2,500.00 contribution which covered our expenses for the event, and left all the other clubs in awe of our V Club Sponsor! Sewell rocks!!
Both San Antonio and Austin chapters came away with awards. From Austin Chuck McCormick took 1st place in the V Sedan Class and Jenna Oltersdorf took 3rd place. Chuck also won "Peoples Choice" which spoke volumes about the crowds reaction to seeing CTS-V's up close. In the V Coupe Class, Axe Dekruif of the San Antonio Chapter took 1st place, and newest Austin member Chris Hignite, who joined within days of the event, took second. Another member also stood out--Tom Carlson of the Austin Chapter. Tom had pre-registered and also contributed generously to the V Club fund, but a serious medical issue required him to have surgery the day before the event. Any normal person would have just stayed in bed and managed the pain, but not Tom. In the true spirit of "Wounded Warriors" Tom came to the event to show his support and wished all of the V Club members a successful event. Having seen Tom's Black Diamond Coupe several times, I have no doubt that his car would have been very competitive in his class! Tom gets a special salute as a hard-core warrior! Hooah!!
It is also important to recognize the commitment and perseverance of the V Club Board of Directors, and our Sewell liaison Jay Lane, who went the extra mile in generating interest and motivation to garner support for both Operation American Muscle and The Texas Mile on the same weekend. It was that dedicated leadership that kept the Working Group pushing the boulder up hill to make this event happen--and be successful.
And successful is was!! In January our fund raising goal was set at $10,000.00, but there were times when we weren't sure we'd get it off the ground. But perseverance, tenacity, and sheer will power from all involved made the mission successful, and helped us exceed our goal! A total of $10,775.00 was sent to the Wounded Warriors Project, and a sense of mission accomplishment was shared by all involved. The Working Group comprised of Chuck and Ann McCormick, Jenna and Eric Oltersdorf from the Austin Chapter, and Mike Sears, Tammy and Lance Spracklen from the Longhorn Corvette Club are all grateful for the support that made this a success.
Thank you to every V Club member who contributed to the fund, supported the event, and participated. A cause like this matters because the veterans matter, and sometimes you have to make it happen because its the right thing to do.
As you gather with your families during the holiday season give a moment of thanks to our military, because somewhere in this dangerous world someone is standing a post on Christmas Eve to ensure we always have the freedoms we enjoy.